As inferred in the title, it seems that cybercrimes seem to have begun raining down in gusts overnight. We are inundated daily with accounts of companies being compromised by online hackers, children being terrorized by anonymous bullies, secret government files being downloaded to a faceless individual on a personal computer, a community leader being arrested for viewing illegal computer pornography, offshore companies making millions in online casino-style gaming, money being laundered through a complicated web of computer networks, and the list can go on and on.
Free time for children is no longer spent just playing out in the yard. Today’s child can navigate their way through the World Wide Web or download an application better than the vast majority of adults. Virtually every person in the United States possesses or has access to a computer. There is no reason to think that steep growth will not continue as even third world countries beginning to get on the technology bus. Just about everything people do today somehow involves the use of a computer, tablet, or smart phone.
With most laws on the books dating back decades or centuries, cyber offenses in city, state and federal courts are being created while you read this article. The courts are just beginning to grasp this invasion of new crimes and new criminals. Without much, if any, precedent, courts are often interpretating fact patterns for the first time and rendering decisions of first impressions. It is not uncommon to have different jurisdictions decide similar allegations in completely opposite fashion. The beat cop is now trained to look for evidence where there once was none. The key to solving a crime might now be found on the storage unit of an X-Box or on the computer routinely installed in a late model car.
When picking a jury during a process called voir dire, prosecutors and defense lawyers find themselves dealing with prospective jurors who bring preconceived notions into the courtroom due to their cult-like following of television programs like Law and Order and CSI. The area of cyber crime is fascinating. Legislators scramble to introduce new laws to cover the countless scenarios we see today that do not neatly fit into the volumes of state and federal laws across the United States. They know as well as any that by the time the law is changed or passed, another crime in need of new legislation will have surfaced.
As we set off to report every facet of cyber crime, including interesting technology- based cases, methodology of modern investigation, and overall developments within the realm of cyber crime, I encourage you the reader to get involved. Choose what interests you and forward a question, thought, or topic to me directly. Every submission will be considered and, if appropriate, will be addressed in an upcoming article. Cheers to our on-line journey together!